I was under the impression that the GT-Line would get the 1.2-litre turbo motor from the Mégane and the EDC automatic gearbox from the Clio RS but instead, it retains the same 898cc turbo three-cylinder and only now it gets an over-boost function, which gives you 4kW/15Nm briefly, in second and third gears, for a combined output of 70KW/150Nm, a feature which the Expression and Dynamique and even new Sandero models now also benefit from.
The little engine is still a model of efficiency and although I couldn’t replicate the claimed consumption of 4.5 litres/100km I did manage 5.7 litres/100km in a mixed environment, while the overboost does give a noticeable shove when it matters.
Sportier inside and out
In terms of making a visual statement, the GT-Line certainly goes about its business carving a place for itself between the more aggressive-looking RS and more suave Dynamique. It looks great and was even mistaken for an RS model a few times, by passers-by.
It gets a new front and rear bumper, GT-Line insignia, a single exit exhaust and some stylish alloy wheels, which adds about R6 000 to its price tag over the Dynamique model from which it loses out on front fog lamps but gains a rear spoiler.
Inside, you’ll notice an RS door sill, different seats and slightly sportier visuals. There is still the media/navigation system with Bluetooth, USB/AUX and navigation developed by LGwhich means, life’s good, of course, but when it comes to the sound system it isn’t so good. Renault needs to offer a better quality sound system in their vehicles as they are far behind on that front. The Bass Reflex system isn’t too impressive.
Filling a void?
The only problem with the Clio range has been the void between the sporty RS model and the top-of-the-range Dynamique model. Well, in a way the new GT-Line Clio that I drove fills that void but at the same time it doesn’t, as it’s just a cosmetic job for now
The Clio GT-Line will certainly find a market for itself. For a slight premium you can have a hotter-looking Clio and still reap the benefits associated with the standard car.
The new Clio is an impressive product but is now up against some serious competition from the VW Polo, new Mazda2, Honda’s new Jazz, Kia’s refreshed Rio, the new Hyundai i20, Peugeot’s 208, Toyota’s updated Yaris and the Ford Fiesta. Daunting, I know.
Warranty and service plan
The Clio GT-Line models come standard with a five-year/150 000km mechanical warranty, in addition a three-year/45 000km service plan.
Renault Clio GT-Line R224 900